"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more
To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.
This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.
One of the principal challenges of historical linguistics is to explain the
'causes' of language change. Any such explanation, however, must also
address the 'actuation problem': why is it that changes occurring in a given
language at a certain time cannot be reliably predicted to recur in other
languages, under apparently similar conditions? The sixteen contributions to the
present volume each aim to elucidate various aspects of this problem, including:
What processes can be identified as the drivers of change? How central are
syntax-external (phonological, lexical or contact-based) factors in triggering
syntactic change? And how can all of these factors be reconciled with the
actuation problem? Exploring data from a wide range of languages from both a
formal and a functional perspective, this book promises to be of interest to
advanced students and researchers in historical linguistics, syntax and their